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“When They Saw the Star…”

KNOM's Christmas star
The KNOM Christmas star, perched atop the FM transmitter tower in downtown Nome, Alaska. Photo: David Dodman, KNOM.

Passersby near KNOM studios have an extra reason to think of Christmas these days. High atop our FM transmitter tower, our Christmas star is lit, brightly punctuating the Nome skyline.

As Static readers may know, our Christmas star — which we illuminate at the onset of every Advent and keep lit throughout the Christmas season — is one of our oldest holiday traditions, and given the open landscape of our region, it’s visible for miles, a symbolic beacon seen by local residents, travelers, and even airplane passengers.

Of course, it’s hardly our only way of marking the season. Our volunteer producers work on the latest installment of our annual Christmas radio drama, and all on staff help with our annual Christmas Call-In Show, during which listeners can personally say a Christmas greeting to far-flung friends or family.

Christmas stocking in KNOM studios
An example of the decorations one finds around KNOM studios at this time of year. Photo: David Dodman, KNOM.

Our music and radio spots are Christmas-themed, too, and on Christmas Day, we broadcast live Mass from our local parish, St. Joseph Catholic Church in Nome, with special thoughts and prayers going to the many listeners in rural, Western Alaskan communities that have no local priest. Our studios — and St. Joseph church — are bedecked with many of the same types of decorations that may adorn your homes, although in the case of St. Joe’s, there’s a loving nod to rural Alaska: in the manger scene (pictured below), Mary, Joseph, and the Christ child are all wearing Alaska-Native-style parkas.

In ways simple or subtle, we’re doing what we can to make this season bright for our region. Thanks for making it possible. Merry Christmas!

Christmas creche at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Nome
Like so many Catholic churches around the world, the parish two blocks away from KNOM studios – St. Joseph Catholic Church – features a manger scene and Christmas tree during this Advent season. But the Nome creche bears a touch of rural Alaska: the baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph wear traditional parkas fit for our region’s harsh winters.

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Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.